The Buzz

April 9, 2013

Kansas is watching the White House budget

Spending blueprint will be scrutinized Wednesday for decision on a National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility in Manhattan.

The Buzz

The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling

Kansas politicos were stunned a year ago when the White House’s FY 2013 budget deleted almost all funding that year for the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility

in Manhattan, Kan.

They’ll be watching closely for the funding recommendation in the FY 2014 budget, to be released Wednesday.

There are some signs the administration has grown more enthusiastic about the $1 billion project, where scientists and others will study, diagnose, and respond to pathogens that threaten livestock. Money was released in 2012 for some construction work, for example.

But NBAF still has enemies in Congress — including some who want to keep the current biodefense lab at Plum Island open.

So NBAF-Manhattan can be a target for budget-cutters. We’ll see what the recommendation is Wednesday.

Incidentally, the Department of Homeland Security has hardened the proposed lab against tornadoes. Its latest study suggests a damaging tornado event once every 14

million years.

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